What if we could communicate by our thoughts?

The French site Maxisciences.com published some exciting news: In Brussels, a patient in a vegetative state has communicated through his thoughts!

“A 29 year-old man, incapable of moving or communicating verbally has managed to respond to doctor’s questions by answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ through his thoughts.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine is remarkable.  Thanks to MRI imaging, the study shows that it would be possible to read the thoughts of certain patients considered to be in a vegetative state.  The man, who was a victim of a car accident in 2003, could neither move nor speak.  Nevertheless, scanners attested to brain activity and more importantly, these scanners showed that the brain activity changed in relationship to simple questions, in the same way that it would for a fully functioning person.  “When we saw the scanner results, we were staggered.  The patient was able to respond correctly to questions by simply changing his thoughts” recalls Adrian Owen, professor of Neurology at Cambridge.  For a total 23 patients, considered to be in a vegetative state, 4 (17%) showed signs of conscience thanks to the MIR scanner.  This study is very hopeful as patients could in the future communicate their pain or their feelings. It would also bring to light their opinions on the delicate question of euthanasia.”

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